Opportunities rarely come gift-wrapped.
Gavin was running a small engineering business in country NSW. He had talents to solve problems which meant he had plenty of work. He travelled all over western NSW to fix problems on the rail network as well as repairing machines in his workshop. Over 4 years he had hired 3 guys to help him, but they were not as good as him and his clients wanted him. He did not have time to train them because he was doing most of the work, as well as everything else involved in running a business.
Gavin was in trouble. His wife had just been told she was having twins. They already had 2 small children. He had tried over the past 6 months to bring a friend into his business as Business manager. This had backfired badly resulting in him losing $60,000 and a friendship. Gavin was feeling very pressured about the future not seeing any way out of his crisis. He happened to mention his problem to a few mates one weekend and one of them mentioned that he needed to hire a business coach. Now Gavin was a very proud man. He had never thought about needing a business coach. As a self-reliant man, it went against his normal way of thinking. However, he was becoming desperate. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So, he reached out to me.
The initial conversation went better than he expected, so he decided to engage me. We had 6 months to get his business organised. The goal was that he be able to stay close to home for the first 6 months after the twins were born. He wanted to be there to support his wife and help look after his other two children.
What felt like a crisis turned into a huge opportunity.
Firstly, we helped Gavin think about his business. He realised he had never had anyone to help him think about his business. He found it very helpful for gaining clear perspective to be talking through his business issues every 2 weeks.
We created a training program for his team and helped Gavin to set aside time to upskill them to be able to cover the main problems his clients encountered. We also worked out he could cover them using the phone and video calls. He could assist them from the workshop on any problems that were complicated in the field.
He communicated with his main clients and found they were more open to dealing with his team that Gavin first thought. He had even more work coming in, so he hired 2 more onto his team.
He hired an Admin Assistant who took over all the running of his office. He managed to secure a wonderful lady who was excellent at her role. She organised his office and procedures to make everything run smoothly.
By the time his wife had their twin girls, Gavin’s business had grown and was positioned to double its income for that year. Like a lot of business owners, he had unwittingly become the bottleneck to growth in his business. This crisis forced him to get out of his own way. He was smart enough to reach out for help.
Opportunities often turn up disguised as problems.
They do not look anything like opportunities. They look much more like a crisis. The Chinese word for crisis, ‘weiji’, is made up of two Chinese characters ‘wei’ which means ‘danger’ and ‘ji’ which means ‘a point where things happen, or change’. ‘ji’ can also mean ‘opportunity’. There is opportunity in every crisis for everyone who moves beyond fear and survival and takes the time to look for it. While many people lived in fear, others have repositioned their businesses and made good from 2020 – 2022 because they seized an opportunity.
My Covid/cancer story
In February 2020 I had surgery to remove a malignant tumour from my bladder. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was recovering from my surgery. Not long after, Covid-19 started to change our lives with all kinds of restrictions imposed related to the pandemic.
Fortunately, my surgery went well. The cancer had not spread beyond the bladder. Over 3 years later there is no sign of cancer. However, at the time, everything felt like it was closing in on us. This was a very challenging time. I was off work for a month recovering from my surgery. My clients were very accommodating. Then my wife needed quite a lot of assistance while she underwent chemotherapy.
We found the Covid lockdowns very helpful. We did not have to leave home to go to work. We already used zoom for some client calls. We had good networks and were able to continue working. Other than April 2020 when the world held its breath and nobody paid us anything, our businesses were able to operate from home.
One thing I had been wanting to do for several years was to launch a speaker business. There was a speaker business accelerator program that was running online through Covid. I decided to do that program in 2021. A time that was a crisis for me, my wife and the world became the perfect opportunity to do some training and get myself organised to launch a speak business in 2022. I launched the John Drury Speaker website and have begun to speak at business events as live conferences and events have come back post Covid.
Most people miss the opportunities around them
There are opportunities all around us every day. We are usually so busy dealing with people and problems that we do not have eyes to see them. A business mentor brings an experienced set of eyes to help you see more of what is possible in your business. Like Gavin, there is a way through to having a business that works for you. The crises you face can help you if you reach out for some assistance.
Would you benefit from an experienced set of eyes helping you with your business?
If you would like to have a free 30-minute phone or video call to discuss your situation, please book a call with me here. I am happy to invest 30 minutes with you to understand your situation. I can help you see more opportunities coming rather than only becoming aware of them after they have passed you by.
LIKED THIS? READ MORE
Over the years I’ve written many articles about opportunities & crisis management! Here are a few of my favourites to help you integrate your work into all other parts of your life.